A DANNY WILLIAMS goal five minutes from time gave Wrexham a winning start to this year's Isle of Man Festival.
And manager Denis Smith drew plenty of plus points from a workmanlike performance against opponents Port Vale, now under the stewardship of former captain Martin Foyle.
"We've not looked likely to score many goals so far but we've not looked likely to concede them either" said the Dragons boss.
"We've kept a clean sheet which is important and I thought it was a good workout and a good performance."
New signings Alex Smith and Dean Bennett shone in the opening period although the latter, feeling a tightened muscle, was withdrawn at the interval and Smith added: "Alex put in some great crosses from the left and all we needed was for someone to put them away.
"And Dean did very well for me in midfield, but it was a pity he had to come off because I had hoped to push him forward for the second half. But it's nothing serious I hope."
The Racecourse boss, anxious not to overload his squad who face a further three matches between now and the end of the week, has persuaded tournament organisers to increase the number of permitted substitutions from three to five and he made full use of his allocation. Teenager Craig Morgan played the second half in place of Brian Carey having missed the friendly against Stoke City last week.
And Smith added: "He looked extremely comfortable for his first outing and I was pleased with Matt Baker in goal who looked far more confident today.
"And Steve Roberts got in as many crosses as anyone so it's been a good start to the week."
Wrexham made the brighter start, knocking the ball around with plenty of confidence on the island's best surface at The Bowl in Douglas and Williams showed plenty of appetite for the challenge against a side who will provide League One opposition early in the new campaign.
But the midfielder obviously had yet to find his shooting boots if two early dead ball efforts were any guide, neither of which tested Vale goalkeeper Johnnie Brain.
The Potteries outfit, making their first appearance in the tournament since 1996, threatened briefly in the 16th minute when former Gresford youngster Steve Rowland picked out Billy Paynter who steered his header straight at Baker.
And further evidence that players on both sides have yet to refine their touch came when Chris Llewellyn glanced an inviting opportunity wide following good work by Smith.
For all their possession Wrexham were grateful to the woodwork 13 minutes before the break when a Lee Matthews free-kick left Baker flat-footed but ricochetted off the bar.
The Dragons picked up the tempo towards the break and Llewellyn was inches away from turning home a teasing cross from Smith. Then Dennis Lawrence tested Brain with a curling header and the keeper then saved a good effort from Hector Sam.
It was a different story in the second period as Wrexham, showing four changes, found themselves pressed backwards. Morgan came to the rescue with a brave header after Chris Birch-ill's centre was knocked back into the danger area by Matthews, Dean Smith saw another effort blocked and Baker saved a header from Mick Cummins.
Chris Armstrong should have put the Dragons in front after 64 minutes, taking a perfectly weighted pass from Darren Ferguson only to shoot wide.
A sudden death penalty shoot-out was looming when Williams conjured up the deciding goal in the 85th minute.
Sam was crudely brought down by Sam Collins on the edge of the penalty area and Williams drove a powerful low shot beyond the defensive wall into the bottom corner of the net.
PORT VALE: Brain, Lipa (D Smith 33), Collins, Matthews, Cummins, Paynter (Brooker 67), Reid, Brown (James 58), Rowland, Birchill (I Armstrong 58), Hulbert.
WREXHAM: Baker, Roberts, Carey (Morgan 46), Lawrence, A Smith, Whitley, Ferguson (Jones 78), Williams, Bennett (Spender 46), Sam, Llewellyn (C Armstrong 46).
REFEREE: Nick Preskey